Home for the Holidays | Hosting Your First Christmas as a Couple

Group of friends at Christmas party

The holiday season is a magical time, especially if you have someone special to spend it with! Your first Christmas as a couple, awwww. We love that for you both! You get to pick out a tree, decorate it (and your abode), and if you don’t get stockings with your names on them, can you really call yourselves a couple? We’re joking—or are we?

Personalized stockings or not, the holidays are delightful when you get to share them with your significant other, Christmas especially. So break out the eggnog and…wait. Don’t drink that yet, because you just found out everyone is coming to yours on Noel night. You need all of your wits about you, so hold off on the alcoholic ‘nog while we walk you through hosting your first Christmas as a couple.

At Your Home For the Holiday

Maybe it was a last-minute decision thrust upon you by your SO, or it was a joint decision made long ago to host Christmas at yours this year—however it shook out, this is a big deal, and you want to make it as magical as the festive season!

Yes, it’s a lot to put on your Christmas-themed plate, but with thoughtful planning and a relaxed—no white-knuckling this—approach, you can make it a festive celebration and a Yuletide you’ll remember.

Keep scrolling for ways to keep calm and Xmas on!


Planning Ahead

Effective planning is the cornerstone of any good holiday gathering—it’s all about organizing your tasks, budgeting, and staying well ahead of the schedule to minimize stress.

Start Early: Make a list of everything you need to do! Divide tasks into categories like decorations, food, invitations, and shopping. Then, set hard deadlines for each task to avoid last-minute rushes.

Budgeting: You have to set a realistic budget for your Christmas celebration—don’t go all out if you can’t afford to! This will avoid any financial stress, which can be a make-or-break issue among couples, and it keeps your spending in check. Trust us, you don’t need that lavish Manger scene displayed on your front lawn to be a wonderful host.

Handling Pressure: Remember, perfection is NOT the goal when you host Christmas at your home; it’s about creating a warm, welcoming place for your guests. It’s more than okay if everything doesn’t go exactly as planned.

christmas aesthetic

Setting the Scene

While it sounds a little corny, the ambiance of your home really does set the vibe for the entire celebration. From choosing a theme to creating a warm and homey atmosphere, small, simple details, like twinkling Xmas lights wrapped around a staircase banister, can make your Christmas gathering feel all that more special.

Choosing a Theme: Pick a decorating theme that you both like if you’re going to do it! Whether it’s classic, contemporary, or something uniquely yours, make sure you both agree on the flourishes.

Creating the Ambiance: Is there anything more enchanting than muted lighting done with candles or fairy lights? We think not! Who needs harsh overhead lighting when you can make your home glow? Add some classic (or contemporary, if you like) Christmas music, and voila—instant Xmas vibes.

Handling Pressure: Don’t overdo it—there is a fine line between tasteful and tacky. Less is more in the case of decorations and will have more impact than overwhelming your space with too many adornments.

christmas food

The Festive Feast

A huge part of any holiday celebration is the main feast. Yes, the cheese board or charcuterie is nice, but the big event is dinner. Planning a tasty and manageable menu makes a yummy meal that all will enjoy without the stress.

Menu Planning: We cannot stress this enough—keep the menu manageable. Don’t overstretch your cooking abilities, thinking you can become Julia Child with fancy dishes if you aren’t that skilled in the kitchen! Your guests won’t care if you serve a traditional Christmas meal of ham instead of a duck—and if they do, they can host next year and make a bougie dish. Just sticking with a mix of make-ahead dishes and easy-to-prepare items on the day of can reduce stress. Or, if you aren’t comfortable cooking, order the feast from a local restaurant. There is nothing wrong with getting Christmas catered.

Cooking Together: If you are going to cook together, this is a great time to have fun and bond—divvy up the dishes and tasks according to each other’s cooking strengths.

Handling Pressure: Once again, it’s okay to opt for store-bought food or simplify the menu—the company is far more important than any gourmet offerings.

christmas entertainment

Holiday Entertainment

You have eaten yourselves almost sick and had to undo the top button of your pants—now what? If your guests are up to it, suggest playing a game. This adds fun to your gathering; drunk charades are always a hit!

Planning Activities: Choose games that are fun and encourage interaction between all—it’s a great way for guests to get to know one another.

Handling Pressure: Keep a flexible schedule—not everything has to go exactly as planned. The goal of Christmas is to have fun, not stick to a strict timetable like a drill sergeant.

overnight guests

Accommodating Overnight Guests

If your guests are spending the night, seeing to their comfort is important. A little prep work goes a long way in making them feel welcome and secure.

Comfortable Arrangements: Make sure your guests have everything they need for a comfy stay—clean linens, towels, and toiletries.

Handling Pressure: Do not stress about entertaining guests every minute they are at your home. It’s okay to have downtime where guests can relax on their own—you aren’t a ringleader.

personal touch

Personal Touches

It’s the little, thoughtful things that leave a lasting impression—personalizing your holiday hosting will create a welcoming and homey environment.

Adding Thoughtfulness: Small gestures like a handwritten welcome note or a bouquet of flowers in the guest room can make the difference in making your guests feel at home or like Airbnb users.

have fun

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

During the hustle and bustle of hosting, you need to take a breath, pause, and enjoy the moments. After all, this Christmas celebration is also a reflection of your time together as a couple!

Taking a Moment: Relax when you can and be present!  Remember, this is not just about holiday hosting duties but also about celebrating your Christmas together as a couple!

Handling Pressure: If it all gets to be too much, take a short break together. Lock yourselves in the bedroom or take a walk to get away and hit the reset button.

clean up


After the last guest has cleared out, it’s time to reclaim your home and start tidying up. We know this is the worst part, not only because it signals the end of Christmas, but because you have to actually clean.

Sharing Responsibilities: Divide and conquer when it comes to the clean-up. Working together makes it easier and you’ll get it done in half the time.

Concluding Thoughts

Hosting your first Christmas as a couple is an exciting time, and you can forge your own traditions and memories. By planning ahead, sharing the to-dos, and remembering to actually enjoy the moment rather than succumbing to the pressure of hosting a “perfect” Xmas, you can create a holiday celebration that’s one for the photo album, fun, and all your own!

Molly Davis
Molly Davis

Molly is an East Coast writer who lives on West Coast time. She’s been in the journalism field for over 20 years — newspapers are her first love but she’s finding digital media to be just as fun and challenging as print! When she’s not giving therapist-quality dating advice, she’s curled up watching movies, reading, or volunteering at local dog shelters.